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Chapter 2

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The McMahon house was a typical Irish dormer bungalow on the edge of the Burren. Two storeys, but not really two storeys, more like one and a half storeys. It was a three bedroomed affair that was isolated from other dwellings for a half mile on all sides. It had a gravel drive out the front and a back garden with no high fences or trees. A high border would only block the expansive views of the bleak but beautiful landscape. Normally you could see someone approaching the back of the house for a mile or so.

“Mom!” Conor cried while opening the kitchen door.

Nora didn’t look at him, “You’re back earlier than I expected, the lunch isn’t ready yet.”

“I’ve someone …. something to show you.”

“Oh right” she said, rinsing plates without breaking rhythm.

“Don’t be surprised”, he said “He’s fine really, just looks weird.”

Her head did not move, but her eyes rotated sideways in slow motion, as the plate floated gently to the bottom of the sink.

“Jesus H Christ!” She stumbled backwards towards the corner of the kitchen.

She stood there transfixed, unable to mutter a word for a few moments. Then she regained a modicum of composure.

“Come over here, calmly and slowly” she whispered. But Conor’s bemused look forced her to up her game. “Come over here now!” she shouted in maternal desperation.

Conor, seeing the dynamic unfold, came half way between the two of them “He’s fine really, he hasn’t said a word and seems grand, like. He walked all the way back here with me and listened to me chattin’ away and didn’t seem to mind at all”

“Oh, he’s grand is he? He’s a feckin’ alien or something - you’ve no idea what he’s really like”

Conor had seen the sense to come over to his mother’s grasping arms.

Her chin raised “I’m gonna call the Guards”

She slid her back sideways along the kitchen cabinets behind here, clutching Conor close to her. While keeping her eyes on the alien her hand reached up to the phone on the wall and she dialled 999. She made a trembling account of what had just happened, and despite some disbelief the operator said she would dispatch someone to her location.

She put the phone back on the hook while keep her eyes on the alien. They waited in awkward silence.

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